A Love That Mirrors God

Love is not divisible. Genuine love of God implies love of neighbor and self. Genuine love of neighbor and self can come only out of a love of God. Even in the most vindictive, inconsiderate, domineering person, we are called to see God. Beneath the sin and ugliness, everyone mirrors at least some of the attributes of God: free, intelligent, capable of the highest love. Even if that freedom has been enslaved or that intelligence is clouded by physical, emotional, or moral obstacles, that person is still full of potential.

Christ brought new dignity to human nature by the union of the divine and the human. In the one person of Christ, human nature is inseparably and forever united to God. Christ did not add anything to human nature. Rather he made visible the love that had never changed.

—from the book Live Like Francis: Reflections on Franciscan Life in the World

Live Like Francis by Jovian Weigel and Leonard Foley, OFM

God Is Not Fair

That God is not fair is actually one among many reasons for gratitude, albeit in a way counterintuitive to our usual thinking. The simple premise here is that God’s way is not our way, God’s love is not conditioned like our love, God’s mercy is not bound as ours is, and God does not discriminate or reward a person according to the standards of a given society, no matter how widespread such criteria may be. (Thank God!)

—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude, by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

God is Not Fair by Dan Horan, OFM

Love Is Never Abstract

Love can never be general or abstract—it is only concrete and particular. What we know of other loves we know by analogy because as a creature I must live in the limits of my love. I cannot love forests in general any more than I can love people in general. As the essayist Charles D’Ambrosio has put it, “If you can love abstractly, you’re only a bad day away from hating abstractly.” For love to work, it must be anchored in the particular or else it is likely to simply float along with the changing currents of emotion.

The deeper my love the more particular it becomes and the more limited in scope. It is only through such particulars that we can come to save the creation. God may love the world, but we live into God’s image by reflecting such love on a proper scale—among particular places and people. We live into our love when we love our neighbors and, thus necessarily, our neighborhood.

—from Ragan Sutterfield, author of the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life

Wendell Berry and the Given Life - Book

Meeting God in the Upper Room